Thousands of vocational teachers, under the banner of Vocational Teachers Association, Haryana (VTAH), moved towards the Haryana CM’s residence on July 1 to protest against the non-fulfilment of their longstanding demands: elimination of private contractors and securing employment directly under the Education Department.
Coming from Panchkula, a town in Haryana, the teachers were stopped by the Chandigarh police from even entering Chandigarh. This was their second attempt in the last four days to gherao Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s residence.
The association is on an in-definite strike since June 13 and has alleged that only hollow assurances have been provided from the state government’s end and the teachers’ condition has only worsened.
Newsclick spoke to Anoop Dhillon, general secretary of VTAH, who shared how the private contractors are ‘exploiting’ the teachers by not releasing full amount of their salaries.
According to him, if a vocational teacher is employed directly by the Education Department, according to the department’s budget documents, a salary of Rs 26,300 per month must be paid. However, if the private contractors are involved, the salary that a teacher receives in his/her account gets reduced to Rs 15,000 per month only.
Skill Tree Consulting and Wadhwani Foundation are among the private contractors that have partnered with the central government in order to implement various skill development initiatives run by the Modi government under its ambitious Skill India programme.
The vocational teachers are employed by these private contractors to implement Centrally Sponsored Scheme for Vocationalisation of Higher Secondary Education (CSS-VHSE), a scheme, launched in 1988, that involves introducing and integrating vocational courses at Class 9th and 11th in the state run schools.
However, these private contractors have consistently failed in providing full salaries to the vocational teachers, added Dhillon.
साथियों आज हरियाणा सरकार व शिक्षा विभाग को वोकेशनल टीचर्स द्वारा दिया हुआ अल्टीमेट आज शाम को समाप्त हो जायेगा परन्तु मांगे पूरी नही हुई । अब वोकेशनल टीचर्स पंचकूला की धरा पर एक बडा आन्दोलन करेंगे जिसकी सूचना आज शाम तक जारी की जायेगी । सभी साथी तैयार रहे
#old_memoryPosted by Vocational Teachers Association Haryana on Thursday, June 6, 2019
Courtesy – VTAH Facebook Page
In addition to this, Dhillon also commented on how the contractors do not even contribute to the Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) funds, mandated by the law, which further reduces the salaries of the vocational teachers.
Recently, similar protests have been reported from different parts of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh where vocational teachers have demanded that the state governments to secure their employment directly under the state’s Education Department and remove the private contractors from the process of dispensing skill knowledge.
Last year, responding to the anger of Jammu and Kashmir’s vocational teachers, the state government had decided to directly provide salaries to the vocational trainers and to terminate the services of the private contractors.
With no positive response from the state administration, vocational teachers in Haryana will try again, on July 2, to gherao the CM’s residence hoping that the government will wake up to their slogans and will fulfill their demands.
Also read: Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Teachers Protest in J&K, Demand Salaries as per the 7th Pay Commission